Tax debt scam forces people to buy gift cards

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SCAMMERS pretending to be tax department officials have been forcing victims to purchase and transfer gift cards to pay off their tax debt.

Now, ACT police are warning owners and employees of local businesses to keep an eye out on people buying lots of gift cards after one victim purchased cards totalling $25,000.

Police say the scam involves a caller claiming to be an official following up a report of tax evasion or an other issue, who advises the victim to purchase and transfer Google Play cards (or other gift cards) in order to pay off the tax debt.

If a purchase seems suspicious, police are urging employees to contact police on 131 444.

Police are reminding the community that if you receive demands for money via phone, in the post, or online from police or other government agencies, to check their validity by contacting the agency directly.

“Police, the Australian Taxation Office and other agencies will never ask members of the public to settle debts by paying with gift cards,” says police.

Information can be provided by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website

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